Chicago Defective Product Attorneys
What is Products Liability?
The term ‘Defective Product’, or a case against a manufacturer for ‘Product Liability’ often brings to mind dangerous products like children’s toys, cribs, day beds and car seats.
Because of an abundance of television commercials, you might also think of dangerous drugs or medical devices once promoted as medical breakthroughs, now suspected of having seriously injured or killed patients.
A defective product is one in which the safety of the product – or a component of the product – has been compromised and caused injury. A product that is found to be unreasonably dangerous when used for the purpose intended, or unsafe for reasonably foreseeable uses, can result in a product liability case.
Defective products have been found in all areas of life and are commonly responsible for injuries that could have, and should have been prevented.
Recent newsworthy cases have involved construction accidents (faulty equipment and/or defective building materials), automobiles (breaks, steering, rollovers and tires), and medical devices, such as defective pacemakers, vaginal mesh products, robotic surgery failures, and dangerous bone grafting materials, such as Infuse.
Products liability sounds complicated and, in fact, it can be complicated. In its simplest form, the only rule you have to remember is that the manufacturer of a product owes the consumer the obligation to “manufacture” and “design” a product that is reasonably safe. If the product is “unreasonably dangerous” or if it is “unsafe for reasonably foreseeable uses,” then the manufacturer is liable for injuries that are caused by the product.
Another way to evaluate if you may have a products liability case is to ask yourself the following question, “Did the product do something or act in such a manner that I did not expect?” If they answer is yes, then you should explore the prosecution of a products liability claim.
How do You Prosecute a Products Liability Case?
When we prosecute a products liability case, we must prove on your behalf that the defect in the product existed when the product left the manufacturer’s control. If the distributor of the product contributed to the defect, the distributor could also be liable. A manufacturer can also be liable if it fails to adequately warn of dangers associated with the product.
A manufacturer cannot delegate its duty to others. Clauses such as, “any injury is the responsibility of the consumer” are not enforceable and will likely be stricken by the Court.
Product liability law is complex and expensive to litigate because a Plaintiff is normally taking on a wealthy manufacturer who has unlimited money to spend defending its product. Plus, manufacturers have an interest in protecting the “sanctity” of their product. However, Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates fronts the costs for the litigation and a client is only responsible for the costs if we recover compensation for the client
Construction Liability Cases
We have brought products liability actions into the construction arena, utilizing it to protect construction workers. For example, if a defective bolt fractures and causes a beam to fall on an ironworker, then the manufacturer of the bolt may be liable under products liability law.
We have recovered one of the largest if not the largest product liability recovery ever against a ladder manufacturer. Further, we recently won what was the largest verdict in Illinois history for a paralyzed worker. In that case, the Defendant attempted to use products liability arguments to defeat the ironworkers claim. The Defendant argued that the injured ironworker should have used a manlift and a lanyard (both of these are products) in a manner contrary to the manufacturer’s instructions. We demonstrated that this would have potentially caused a manlift to tip over or the lanyard to fracture. The jury agreed with us and awarded the ironworker $64 million.
To successfully prosecute a products liability claim, it is critical that the product be saved after the accident and not be altered or changed in any way. Immediately get the product into the hands of an experienced attorney so that they can preserve the product and have an expert evaluate it. If the product is not properly preserved, it may destroy your right to compensation. If you cannot obtain access to the product, we can do so on an emergency basis through a court order.
Auto Products Liability
Automobile products liability is another area where we have pioneered and excelled in prosecuting and creating awareness. Despite decades of research that outline unnecessary risk of serious injury and death due to inadequate or reduced standards and known defects within the automobile manufacturing industry, little measurable progress has been made. The National Institute of Highway Safety (the government agency charged with industry oversight and consumer protection) continues to disregard sound and just engineering recommendations and instead, supports guidelines that effectively offer immunity of liability from gross negligence by the automobile manufacturers.
Until the NIHS becomes an agency of the people, for the people, the people themselves must enlist the power of the courts and the jury system to force reasonable change. Only when the cost of restitution following serious injuries and death outweigh the costs of acceptable negligence will true and purposeful change occur for automobile consumers.
An example: if a child’s car seat fractures, the manufacturer may be liable. If a car flips over and the hood caves in, the manufacturer may be liable for a faulty hood. If a medical prosthetic device fails, it may be a product defect.
Chicago Product Liability Attorneys
Products liability takes experience, considerable expertise, and money to be successfully prosecuted. Under products liability law, you have the right to have your case heard by a jury and you can recover damages for pain and suffering, disability, lost wages, disfigurement, and future pain and suffering.
Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates team of Chicago, Illinois Products Liability Attorneys invite you to contact us for a free telephone or in person consultation to discuss any questions regarding a product that you may have. You can also email us or even speak with us right now on LiveChat.
Please call our Chicago office at (312) 372-8822, or our Joliet office at (815) 723-8822, or you can call our toll free number at (800)-985-1819.